After earning plenty of valuable playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2012, Missouri quarterback Corbin Berkstresser entered the spring hoping to challenge for the starting job.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Instead, he learned afterward that he had been demoted to No. 3 quarterback, and surpassed by redshirt freshman Maty Mauk on the depth chart.
It was a little reality check, Berkstresser said.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel recently said senior James Franklin is currently the starter, but added the competition for the job will continue throughout preseason camp as the Tigers prepare for their season opener against Murray State on Aug. 31.
When asked whether coaches told him if hes still in the race, Berkstresser, a sophomore from Lees Summit High School, says he is.
Yes sir, as far as I know, Berkstresser said.
Berkstesser said he has been working to give himself the best chance of having a good camp, using his struggles last season as motivation. Berkstresser won his first career start against Arizona State last September and made three more because of Franklins injury woes, losing to Alabama and Texas A&M, two of the SECs best teams.
Regardless, Berkstresser who also struggled in relief during crushing home losses to Syracuse and Vanderbilt completed 88 of 177 passes (49.7 percent) for 1,059 yards, five touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2012, numbers he obviously wasnt pleased with.
Ive been working on my footwork and watching the film (from last season), trying to figure out what I can do to try to improve and really compete in fall camp, Berkstresser said. I believe competition brings the best quarterback out of all of us, so whoever wins the spot will be the best quarterback to lead the team.
Berkstresser said hes also worked on his body. After playing at 226 pounds last season, he said hes cut his weight to 220 while losing fat and gaining muscle.
I dropped down to 8 percent body fat, and during the season I was about 13 percent, said the 6-foot-3 Berkstresser. So Im just eating right, a little bit healthier, a little more non-processed foods nothing too crazy, though.
Berkstresser is hopeful his improved fitness will allow him to stay fresher throughout the course of practice and games.
You talk to people who start eating healthy and they feel better about themselves and have more energy throughout the day, Berkstresser said. I did that and it definitely makes you feel better. I think I can push through some of these long practices and hopefully perform a little better in practices and games now.